The Millstone Times September 2021


Pets & Antibiotic Resistance Antibiotics save lives, but anytime they are used, they can lead to antibi- otic resistance. Antibiotic resistance is when germs like bacteria and fungi develop the ability to defeat the drugs designed to kill them. It means the germs are not killed and continue to grow. Antibiotic resistance can affect the health of both people and animals. Resistant germs can spread between people, animals, and the environment. Everyone can help improve antibi- otic prescribing and use. This will help keep us healthy now, fight antibiotic resistance, and ensure that these lifesaving antibiotics will be available for future generations. How pet owners can help use antibiotics responsibly: 1. Ask your veterinarian. • About preventing common infections with good hygiene, nutrition, vaccinations, and proper pet care. • If tests have been done to make sure the right drug is chosen for your pet. 2. Use antibiotics only when needed and follow your veter- inarian’s directions. • Store antibiotics safely in your home, so that children and pets do not ac- cidentally take medicine not meant for them. • Dispose of antibiotics properly, do not flush them. Medicine take-back programs are a good way to safely dispose of most types of unneeded or expired drugs. Experts are working to better understand antibiotic resistance in the environment (e.g., water, soil) and its possible impact on people.

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6 The Millstone Times

September 2021

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